G7 trade ministers rap invasion of Ukraine, vow to bolster supply chains

Trade ministers from the Group of Seven nations have condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and pledged to bolster supply chains.

The ministers issued a joint statement after wrapping up their meeting in Germany on Thursday.

The statement says, "Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine...has triggered disruptions in agricultural production, supply chains and trade, causing particular concern for developing and least developed countries."

The ministers say they "remain steadfast" in their commitment to subject Russia to "unprecedented sanctions in defense of the rules-based international order."

The document says the ministers "will continue to coordinate future trade and investment measures to support Ukraine's recovery efforts."

Referring to recent crises that have exposed economic vulnerabilities, the ministers say they "will continue to seek new opportunities to work together to support supply chain robustness."

The statement also includes a pledge by the ministers to boost their efforts to achieve "a level playing field" in trade by using existing mechanisms more effectively and drawing up stronger rules on nonmarket practices.

Observers say the ministers appear to have China in mind. Beijing has been accused of engaging in unfair practices, such as forcing foreign businesses to transfer technology and providing preferential treatment to state-owned enterprises.